You are here

How to Improve Employee Annual Evaluations?

Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
Published on
19 December 2017

Employees often perceive annual evaluations as stressful, childish or demotivating. As a result, this performance measurement tool is controversial and could gain much if it was improved to encourage positive interactions between employees and evaluators. We speak with Isabelle Né, a professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Management who specializes in behavior in organizations and psycho-social risks.

What should be the goal of an annual evaluation?

The evaluation, or better yet, the appreciation is a logical part of job and competency management systems. Evaluations are designed to help understand a company's needs and encourage growth in terms of career advancement, skills or specific knowledge.

You have to think of how to anticipate, adapt, evolve, develop and management talent. Evaluations are particularly useful in terms of analyzing jobs (job tasks, descriptions, required skills, and needs in terms of adaptation, evolution and training). An evaluation tool should be structured in terms of these needs. Think about the future, not just the past.

Can you speak about some fundamental concepts that are useful in terms of evaluations?

It's important that we underline the fact that a negative evaluation leads to a loss of motivation, engagement and can sometimes encourage a depression or burnout, in particular for employees who are very invested in company life. Remember that you are not evaluating an individual, but their work. This distinction is essential to everything else I will suggest. Avoid categorizing people as skilled or unskilled.

Remember that work is not simply a sum of key figures. Employees often have key knowledge of their job which is unknown to management. This is part of the concept put forth by Christophe Déjours, which underlines the difference between real work and assigned work. In other words, how employees actually appropriate their job and its tasks.

One of the first recommendations you make in terms of annual evaluations is the fact companies should create an evaluation that includes meetings, informal exchanges, and even other employees. Why?

This collaborative approach helps overcome fears of being judged or treated in a childish manner. Much like student evaluations for teachers, this approach enables employees to speak more freely about their experience and their difficulties. Informal exchanges during the year enable employees to speak about problems more immediately and not wait until the end of the year.

How do you then integrate informal exchanges into a structured evaluation?

A formal meeting can be a good way to speak about personal troubles or even an employee's boredom at a given job. However, this doesn't mean you have to record everything, especially if it concerns personal troubles.

You and other researchers highlight the need to go beyond taylorism…

Transforming the role of managers is the key to transforming annual evaluations! This means not thinking in terms of being a “control” person, but rather a “support” person who has the capacity to listen and address issues as they arise. Currently, managers have to deal with complex markets and organizations. The solution is to act as a “servant leader” who is at the service of employees.

Horizontal management organizations are less complex and managers are there to provide support. Individuals are rarely “checked up” on. There’s a real paradox between school and work. Young children are taught to become autonomous and organizations are constructed on the opposite postulat.

As a result, you highlight the need to leave behind rigid evaluation methods and adopt a certain flexibility…

Flexibility enables conversations and a real discussion about careers and possible advancement. What's done, is done. You have to look to the future, especially when there are major problems. The real conversation is about listening and providing empathy in order to overcome sticky situations. It's essential for quality customer relations. And in the same way, it's essential for employees. The less they feel like they're being treated in a childish manner, the more responsibility they can take on.

A study by Deloitte highlights the importance of managerial training in order to improve positive and constructive feedback…

The feeling that work can "lose its meaning" is not new. Individuals have always tried to appropriate their job. In organizational theory, many support the idea of participative approaches because it's very different thing to have power "over" individuals versus "with" them. This provides managers with legitimacy and they don't have to coerce employees.

On the same subject

  • Published on 17 July 2020

    Emotional skills generate added value for business

    Emotional skills are essential to foster positive relationships, collaboration and co-innovation. By training an employee’s capacity to identify and manage emotions, companies improve their efficiency and decision-making processes.

  • Infox : comment se prémunir des fake news ?
    Published on 17 July 2020

    How to recognize fake news?

    In times of crisis, fake news can take on unprecedented proportions as seen during the Covid-19 epidemic. How can you sort fact from fiction and help promote the spread of useful, factual information?

  • Comment le management par le care nourrit la relation client ?
    Published on 18 June 2020

    Care management: supporting customer relations?

    Care management” offers a path to taking care of clients, employees and managers. In the post-Covid context, attention to detail and human relationships will be all the more important for companies to rebuild their activities.

  • Published on 18 June 2020

    War vs. economic peace in times of crisis

    “We are at war.” The strong language used by the French President to describe the Covid-19 crisis highlights the faults of our current economic & societal model, which is based on aggression and competitiveness.

  • La crise Covid-19. « Éviter la politique du plus petit des grands pas »
    Published on 18 June 2020

    Covid-19: economic recession and government policies

    Many countries worldwide, and the French government in particular, were quick to implement measures to reduce the short-term economic consequences of the Covid lockdown. Yet the crisis is far from over. What comes next?

  • Published on 21 April 2020

    Covid-19 Weekly Update from the Experts at GEM. Issue No.5

    Grenoble Ecole de Management propose un 5ème numéro de ses points de vue d’experts sur les évolutions du monde engendrées par l’épidémie du Covid-19. Au programme cette semaine : confinement...

  • Published on 21 April 2020

    Covid-19 : les experts de GEM décryptent l’impact de l’épidémie #5

    Grenoble Ecole de Management propose un 5ème numéro de ses points de vue d’experts sur les évolutions du monde engendrées par l’épidémie du Covid-19. Au programme cette semaine : confinement...

  • Covid-19 Weekly Update from the Experts at GEM.  Issue No.4
    Published on 20 April 2020

    Covid-19 Weekly Update from the Experts at GEM. Issue No.4

    Grenoble Ecole de Management brings to you its fourth Covid-19 issue with opinions from its Experts on the evolutions they foresee in crisis communications, culture, innovations in health, consumer behavior and customer relationships, both during...

  • Séverine Le Loarne, esiegnant chercheur à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 20 April 2020

    Telecommuting and employee autonomy

    The Covid-19 crisis has forced many employees to start telecommuting. How can companies and managers ensure a smooth transition to telecommuting? What is the essential factor for a successful transition?

  • Covid-19 : les experts de GEM décryptent l’impact de l’épidémie #4
    Published on 16 April 2020

    Covid-19 : les experts de GEM décryptent l’impact de l’épidémie #4

    Grenoble Ecole de Management propose un 4ème numéro de ses points de vue d’experts sur les évolutions du monde engendrées par l’épidémie du Covid-19. Au programme cette semaine : communication, culture, adoption des innovations dans la santé,...

  • Cybersécurité. Prévenir plutôt que guérir !
    Published on 20 April 2020

    Cybersecurity: better safe than sorry!

    As telecommuting becomes a widespread practice during this health crisis, cybersecurity grows in importance for companies. And user awareness of these issues remains the primary factor to ensure security.

  • Pourquoi n’y-a-t-il plus de papier toilette dans les magasins ?
    Published on 20 April 2020

    Why are some store shelves empty?

    Consumption patterns are affected by many factors. Recent research highlights how basic human needs can negatively influence our consumption habits.

  • Covid-19 : les experts de GEM décryptent l’impact de l’épidémie
    Published on 06 April 2020

    Covid-19 Weekly Update From GEM's Experts Issue No.3

    Grenoble Ecole de Management brings to you its third Covid-19 update, with opinions from its Experts, on the global evolutions they foresee in: labor loaning, universal basic income, cultural models, bank rescue plans and the luxury industry.

  • Published on 30 March 2020

    Covid-19 weekly update from GEM Experts. Issue No.2

    Last week, we shared opinions from 12 of our experts on the evolutions they foresee in the areas of higher education, technology, health and the environment as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic...

  • La réforme de l’alternance : ce qui change pour les entreprises en 2020
    Published on 16 March 2020

    Changing work/study in France: new opportunities for businesses

    Work/study offers companies an interesting opportunity for recruitment. New work/study reforms in France offer business schools greater autonomy to meet company demands.

  • grenoble presqu'ile
    Published on 18 February 2020

    MIT GSW 2020: an international event for disruptive entrepreneurship

    The MIT Global Startup Workshop will come to France for the first time. This international event dedicated to entrepreneurship is co-organized by Grenoble Ecole de Management and offers a unique opportunity to explore the theme of disruptive...

  • Published on 13 March 2020

    2020 MIT GSW: entrepreneurship for sustainable societies

    The MIT Global Startup Workshop (GSW) 2020 in-person event on March 23 & 24, 2020 in Grenoble, France, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Chaire DOS : mieux comprendre l’impact des technologies numériques sur nos vies
    Published on 13 January 2020

    Chaire DOS : mieux comprendre l’impact des technologies numériques sur nos vies

    Que changent les technologies numériques pour l’individu, les organisations et la société dans son ensemble ? Une quinzaine d’enseignants-chercheurs se penchent sur le sujet dans le cadre de la chaire Digital, Organization and Society (DOS),...

  • Finance de demain : construire l’éthique des futurs leaders, avec les entreprises
    Published on 21 October 2019

    The future of finance: training ethical leaders with the support of business

    Using a variety of tools such as the serious game Finethics, Grenoble Ecole de Management and the network Finance de demain is encouraging professionals in the finance sector to question their practices and help shape an ethical future for finance.

  • Published on 15 April 2019

    GEM juries: a great match for professionals

    Every year, the Grenoble Ecole de Management admissions and graduation juries rely upon the expertise of working professionals. Participate in this year’s GEM juries to identify, evaluate and understand the next generation of talent at Grenoble...

  • Les dynamiques de pouvoir dans le domaine du coaching
    Published on 24 January 2019

    The power dynamics in coaching

    Interpersonal relationships are a fundamental key to successful coaching. However, recent research highlights the importance of going beyond the coach-coachee relationship in order to consider triangular power relationships between coach, coachee...

  • Grenoble Ecole de Management étaye son offre de services corporate
    Published on 23 November 2018

    GEM: a catalyst for innovation

    Serious games, the first-year challenge, research chairs, a business lab… Innovation is at the heart of Grenoble Ecole de Management. The school offers students, researchers and businesses an environment to foster creativity and collaboration.

  • Gazi Islam, chercheur à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 27 September 2018

    Does permaculture offer an interesting alternative for human organizations?

    Permaculture is usually thought of as a farming practice. Yet knew research explores its potential to help us reorganize society. Thanks to its alternative approach to organizations, permaculture could offer us a positive solution to overcome...

  • Séverine Le Loarne
    Published on 12 July 2018

    GEM - Les Prem1ères: an incubator for female entrepreneurship

    The FERE Research Chair recently partnered with France’s leading incubator network to launch a mobile incubator aimed at supporting female entrepreneurship in rural areas. The first of its kind, this incubator offers a new approach to encourage...

  • l’état des technologies de stockage de l’énergie en France
    Published on 05 July 2018

    Energy market barometer report - Summer 2018

    This Summer 2018 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts on the state of energy storage technologies in France. The experts were also asked about building energy savings and...

  • l’état des technologies de stockage de l’énergie en France
    Published on 05 July 2018

    Baromètre du Marché de l’Énergie Été 2018

    Cette édition de l’été 2018 du Baromètre du marché de l’énergie de Grenoble École de Management (GEM) explore l’avis des experts français de l’énergie sur l’état des technologies de stockage de l’énergie en France. Les experts ont également été...

  • comment tester votre business model
    Published on 26 April 2018

    Startups: How to Test Your Business Model?

    Defining the right business model for an innovative product or service is essential to its success. Experimentation proves to be a useful tool for innovative startups to find the right model.

  • Olivier Blanc, GEM ESC 98
    Published on 26 April 2018

    Improving Your Recruitment Strategy: a Smart Investment

    The recruitment process can be costly and sometimes end in failure. Fine tuning your recruitment process will create concrete improvements in terms of company performance.

  • Published on 11 April 2018

    Comment accélérer la croissance des start-up ?

    Quels sont les mécanismes qui permettent d’évaluer le potentiel des entreprises high tech ? A partir des résultats d’une étude menée aux Etats-Unis avec John Stayton sur les accélérateurs d’entreprises, Vincent Mangematin présente trois méthodes d’...

  • Séverine Le Loarne, esiegnant chercheur à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 14 December 2017

    Social Entrepreneurship: Opportunity or Altruism?

    Why are social entrepreneurs more often women? What motivates their engagement? New research bring into question old stereotypes.

  • Caroline Cuny, GEM
    Published on 14 December 2017

    Going Digital to Improve In-Store Customer Relations

    How can digital technology help companies improve a customer’s shopping experience? We look at emerging trends such as artificial intelligence, facial recognition and olfactive marketing.

  • Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With Customers
    Published on 08 December 2017

    Research: Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With the Help of Customers

    All innovation processes begin with the generation of new ideas, the majority of which end up not being useful. To improve this process, businesses are involving customers. However, the quality of ideas generated by customers is often quite...

  • Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With Customers
    Published on 08 December 2017

    Recherche : Créativité des consommateurs, comment bien utiliser la pensée analogique ?

    Si vous demandez à des consommateurs d’être créatif en faisant des analogies, ils émettront beaucoup d’idées de produits ou de services. Mais si vous voulez de bonnes idées, il faut également tenir compte de leur niveau d’expertise afin de bien...

  • Diogo Hildebrand, researcher and Corporate Social Responsibility expert at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 November 2017

    Research: How Do Consumers Evaluate Corporate Social Responsibility?

    From fighting poverty and illness to providing disaster relief, corporations around the world dedicate considerable resources to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Contributions come in a variety of forms such as monetary donations, the donation...

  • Diogo Hildebrand, researcher and Corporate Social Responsibility expert at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 November 2017

    Recherche : De quelle manière les consommateurs évaluent-ils la Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises (RSE) ?

    De la lutte contre la pauvreté et la maladie à l'aide aux sinistrés, les entreprises du monde entier consacrent des ressources considérables à leur politique RSE. Cela peut prendre différentes formes : dons en argent, dons de matériel ou bénévolat...

  • Research: How we take breaks can impact performance at work.
    Published on 12 September 2017

    Let Your Mind Wander at Work!

    It’s time to space out at work… Recent research suggests that mind-wandering has a positive impact on concentration!

  • Dominique Steiler propose de mettre l’entreprise au service de la cité
    Published on 14 September 2017

    If You Want Peace, Prepare for It

    Ready to evolve towards economic peace and well-being at work? Discover the experiences shared by partner companies and the latest research by the Mindfulness Chair.

  • STAGES : Un directeur de la Fnac raconte son expérience
    Published on 10 July 2017

    FNAC: an Internship to Discover First Hand the Challenges of Customer Relations

    A student internship during the month of December provides student and mentor with the chance to learn hands on.

  • Published on 08 December 2016

    Does a Country’s Culture Influence the Use of Lean Production Systems?

    With globalization, companies have been forced to expand across borders. As a result, they have to check the validity of their management theories and tools when applied to various cultural contexts. Laurent Rannaz, president of Caterpillar France,...

  • Published on 17 November 2016

    Michelin Innovates Using Serious Games

    Michelin innove dans son approche de services de la mobilité grâce à l’open innovation, au serious Game "Tech It ! " et avec les étudiants de GEM.

  • Published on 17 November 2016

    Mobilité : comment Michelin innove

    Michelin innove dans son approche de services de la mobilité grâce à l’open innovation, au serious Game "Tech It ! " et avec les étudiants de GEM.

  • Published on 22 September 2016

    Baromètre du Marché de l’Energie : Été 2016

    Transformation numérique dans le secteur de l’électricité : cette édition Été 2016 du Baromètre du marché de l’énergie par Grenoble Ecole de Management sonde l’opinion des experts français de l’énergie au sujet de la transformation numérique du...

  • Published on 28 June 2016

    Baromètre du Climat mondial des affaires : le niveau d’optimisme rebondit globalement

    Rapport #7 - Été 2016. Nous rapportons dans ce document la perception du climat des affaires par les responsables financiers français et la comparons aux résultats obtenus en Europe et dans le reste du monde. Nous évaluons également les sources de...

  • Published on 06 June 2016

    Les nouveaux business du célibat expliqués

    Business model et célibat sont deux notions qu’on voit rarement ensemble. Et pourtant. Revenons un instant sur la notion de business model. Teece définit un business model comme l’anticipation du top management de ce que les clients souhaitent,...

  • Published on 31 March 2016

    UK CFOs are less optimistic and more uncertain about economy now than end of 2015, global survey finds

    Economic and political uncertainty and currency risk are among major concerns, indicating that a potential Brexit is damaging confidence. UK Financial Executives have the highest understanding among Europeans of recent innovations such as the...

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 22 March 2016

    Recherche : TripAdvisor ou l’irrépressible montée du pouvoir des consommateurs

    A travers TripAdvisor, les clients ont une influence croissante sur la réputation des hôtels et ces derniers répondent de plus en plus aux avis défavorables. C'est ce que montre une étude menée entre 2002 et 2012 sur les avis des clients de 600...

  • Published on 04 February 2016

    Low oil prices cause investment in renewables, biofuels and energy efficiency technologies to decrease

    The current weak price of crude oil is having an adverse impact on the amount of investment in renewables for heat generation, biofuels, and energy efficiency technologies, according to Grenoble École de Management’s Energy Market Barometer Reading.

  •  Thibault Daudigeos is a researcher in Sustainability, Corporate Social Reponsibility, Alternative forms of Organization, Sharing economy, and new models of management at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 26 January 2016

    Research: Corporate Social Responsibility at Odds with Global Markets?

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have received much attention for their potential to improve societal conditions while creating value for companies. However, this latest study from Grenoble Ecole de Management highlights the fact that...

  •  Thibault Daudigeos is a researcher in Sustainability, Corporate Social Reponsibility, Alternative forms of Organization, Sharing economy, and new models of management at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 26 January 2016

    Recherche : Responsabilité sociale des entreprises globalisées, plus facile à dire qu’à faire

    Les démarches de Responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RSE) sont censées créer de la valeur. Pourtant, elles peinent à se mettre en place dans les secteurs où les chaînes de valeur sont éclatées : elles coûtent cher et ne profitent pas forcément à...

  • Published on 04 January 2016

    Recherche : Produit d’origine locale, une mention qui parle au consommateur

    La mention « origine locale » apposée sur un produit alimentaire déclenche chez le consommateur des perceptions plus positives et une intention d'achat plus forte qu'un produit d'une autre région française. Trois études portant sur 632 consommateurs...